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Bush vs. Gore rivals challenge Prop. 8 in federal court

Two prominent attorneys who argued on opposite sides of Bush vs. Gore, the legal battle over the 2000 presidential election, announced Tuesday that they will challenge Proposition 8 in federal court and seek to restore gay marriage until the case is decided.

Former U.S. Solicitor General Theodore B. Olson and David Boies, who represented then-Vice President Al Gore in the contested election, have joined forces to tackle the same-sex marriage issue, which has deeply divided Californians and left 18,000 gay couples married last year in legal isolation.

In a project of the American Foundation for Equal Rights, Olson and Boies have united to represent two same-sex couples filing suit after being denied marriage licenses because of Proposition 8.

Their suit, to be filed in U.S. District Court in California, calls for an injunction against the proposition, allowing immediate reinstatement of marriage rights for same-sex couples.

The California Supreme Court ruled in May 2008 that state law prohibiting same-sex marriage was unconstitutional under the privacy, due process and equal protection guarantees of the California Constitution.

But in November, voters passed Proposition 8, which amended the state Constitution to restrict marriage to between a man and a woman. The high court upheld the voter initiative in a 6-1 ruling today, with  Justice Carlos Moreno dissenting.

Legal scholars have observed that proponents of gay marriage have avoided taking the issue to federal court so far because of the dominance of conservative judges and justices on the federal bench after the eight-year tenure of President George W. Bush.

The U.S. Supreme Court has what usually results in a 5-4 majority against extending rights to gays by recognizing sexual orientation as a vulnerable class of citizens in need of protection.

And all but one of the 13 federal appeals circuits has a reliable conservative majority. Even the exception, the San Francisco-based U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, experienced a curtailing of its liberal orientation with Bush’s seven appointments.

-- Carol J. Williams

Comments () | Archives (27)

I am a democrat and reading this sure make me happy knowing Al Gore didn't win Presidency. They should ban Gay marriage for good in California.

"Former U.S. Solicitor General Theodore B. Olson and David Boies, who represented then-Vice President Al Gore in the contested election" Anyone want to re-think that choice of attorneys? They currently have a batting average of 0.00 for the big ones!.

Separation of state and church, what is so hard to understand?

Maybe we should deny some rights to religious churches, especially mormons so they understand what it is to have something taken away.

This story is a little bit incredible. Are there any *sources* for the claim that Boies and Olson are teaming together under the auspices of the "American Foundation for Equal Rights" to challenge Prop. 8 in federal court?

If this case gets to the US Supremes with its current faith-based, Catholic conservative majority (even with Sonomajor, who's also Catholic) we can kiss our gay/lesbian future a fond farewell.

I'd like to know some more details about the plaintiffs, their funding, and their legitimacy in filing this case. Google can't find a URL for American Foundation for Equal Rights as named in the article.

These two lawyers are not cheap and to think of them combined as a team? Is this an April Fool's joke that missed the calendar?

Is there a rivalry between Olson and Kenneth Starr who argued for the winning side of Prop-Hate which was upheld today by the Calfornia Supremes?

thanks everyone for supporting prop 8. We will need the continued efforts. Say no to hollywood values!

Don't you all see?, this is a unfortunate opinion, a mistake our kids will read on their history books, and they'll be SO happy they will get to live in a country that is well past the fear of "homesuals are coming to get you". We shall overcome. Thank you.

If rights are granted to gays, then why can't I marry 20 women if I choose? I'm not trying to be cute, simply asking the question. Why would we be allowed to restrict the rights of someone wanting to marry multiple partners?

This has been decided by the voters...three times. Decided by the Supreme Court of California. Litigate litigate litigate until you get the ruling you want. I don't get it, but I'm just a white, straight, married, male who isn't allowed to say anything any more without being labeled a racist, or homophobe, or some other ridiculous charge for having a mainstream view.

"Former U.S. Solicitor General Theodore B. Olson and David Boies, who represented then-Vice President Al Gore in the contested election" Anyone want to re-think that choice of attorneys? They currently have a batting average of 0.00 for the big ones!.

Nonsense. Reread the story's opening phrase: "Two prominent attorneys who argued on opposite sides of Bush vs. Gore . . . ." One of those attorneys, Olson, was on the winning side in Bush vs. Gore. Furthermore, Olson has been the winning attorney in many other big Supreme Court cases. Boies has won many big cases, too, but usually at the trial court level.

thanks california for rejecting hollywood values-

Oh Manish. I feel sorry for you. Do you honestly think that giving all Americans a fair shot at happiness is "Hollywood Values"? Why don't you try seeing gay folks as human beings and try to love them as equals? Maybe it will make you feel good.

Since when did it become a "Good Thing" to strip US Citizens of equal protection?

First it will be the Gays, next it will be certain White males carrying certain genes. Then another group. History has told us over and over that once you start down this slippery slope...NO one is safe from the HATE CHRISTIANS!

Today, Christianity in California has laid down with Satan...

Beware of those who hide behind religion with dark hearts of HATE! They reek of evil of the worst kind.

I am saddened by you, Democrat. You are wasting your life with ignorance like that. If you took the time to get to know gay folks you would learn that they are just like you. They just want to be happy and have a shot at happiness. What's so terrible about that?

democrat: They should ban religious people from sticking their agenda on the ballot unless they pay taxes.

Manish: If anything, religion is hollywood. Parting sea, talking donekys in the Bible, miracles...really now.

Enough of this court crapola. The voters have spoken and the story is tired. Move on.

Prop 8 screams for remedy under the 14th Amendment. Sotomeyer may be Catholic, but don't let that fool you--she is also a strong supporter of abortion. And don't be too quick to throw Roberts in on the anti-gay side, he may surprise you.


Wake up and learn to read, folks. These are the "two prominent attorneys who argued on opposite sides of Bush vs. Gore." In other Words, Olson is the one who was on Bush's side, and Boies was on Gore's side. And now they're teaming up together to try this case. And yes, it is legitimate. It is fair to question their motives, as Ted Olson is extremely conservative, however he is also one of the best lawyers in the country, firmly believes in individual rights, and is drawn to big, impressive cases where he certainly does not want to lose. Witness Bush v. Gore. Think positively, folks, this is a pretty big deal.

I just don't understand how same-sex marriage will affect anyone but the two persons involved. It won't. Here is a video that presents today's commentary on the decision and what we can expect in 2010.

All this clap-trap about church and state is beside the point. The argument against homosexual simulated marriage is based on natural law. It requires no assertion of supernatural approval to note that heterosexual marriage has been a universal characteristic of human society since there has been human society.
Conversely, there are no evidence for the existance of homosexual marriage as normative in any culture.
The more apt question might be: on what basis can we deny plural marriage if we are to accept homosexual marriage as an inherent and inalienable right? There are, after all, a multitude of examples of polygamy even in advanced civilizations, and polyamorous unions are not unknown to anthropologists.
Natural law is the basis of our Declaration and Constitution. If we are instead to accept that the law is what the state says it is even in defiance of nature; then King Canute's feet will need to stay dry next time.

I want to ask all the supposedly "religious" here: how will it affect YOU personally if I get married to my girlfriend? Will your right to your faith be restricted, will your children have less opportunities, will you lose your job?

I can tell you how it will affect US...we would get the same hundreds of protections and benefits that you take for granted daily.

And some food for thought:

"Divorce rates among conservative Christians were significantly higher than for other faith groups, and much higher than Atheists and Agnostics experience."

From "U.S. divorce rates for various faith
groups, age groups, & geographic areas", http://www.religioustolerance.org/chr_dira.htm

jerseyman, your assertion that same-sex marriage lacks a historical basis is patent nonsense. It was in fact considered quite acceptable in ancient Greece, the Roman Empire (prior to the rise of Christianity), and ancient China. The institutionalized discrimination against homosexuals that we see now is in fact a relatively recent development.

Also, how can something that occurs naturally be a violation of "natural law"?

Opponents should consider filing legal challenges to similar statutes in other US District Courts, to enable several Circuit Courts of Appeals to render opinions on the issue and create the perfect atmosphere for the US Supreme Court to feel compelled to exercise its appellate jurisdiction. The 1st Circuit Court of Appeals, which is conformed by a majority of the New England States which now recognize same sex marriage, would be a good place to start.

These things or writings are just very interesting.

Oh you poor, ignorant, homophobic, uneducated, ridiculous "christians". What color is the sky in your world? You make me sad to be part of humanity. I'm unclear as to how same sex marriage will affect you. Conservative christians have a significantly higher rate of divorce than any other religious group including atheists and agnostics. How is that part of your "natural law"? Now go play with a handgun and let the adults talk.

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